When Elly (Head Sommelier at Fifteen Cornwall) and I sat down for coffee to discuss wine and life back in November 2015, I suggested that perhaps we could make some wine together. Even better, that we could use the exercise as a learning experience for her team at Fifteen Cornwall. She loved the idea and a plan was hatched!
2015 was an excellent year for making wine in Bordeaux. Ripe luscious Merlot and tangy Sauvignon were the perfect building blocks to make an early drinking Merlot vintage. The fact that it was 2015 made it the perfect choice for Fifteen in their 10th anniversary year.
My wines had finished fermenting and had been left to mature for 3 months when Elly and her team came out first to Civrac to taste from the different barrels and to shortlist the potential candidates for a final blend.
We brought 3 blend mixtures back to the full Team in Cornwall in March for tasting and the final selection was made as a single Merlot 2015.
The limited edition of only 600 was bottled in April, allowed to mature for 3 months in the Cellar at Chateau Civrac and then the conditioned wine was landed on Watergate beach in July.
Our wine is called XV to reflect its vintage. It has aromas of smokey plumbs and a fresh fruity taste with a surprisingly long finish. We chose to bottle and label the wine simply and honestly, with no foil and a kraft label: A simple natural cork with minimal labelling but an impressively weighty bottle to indicate its 2015 heritage. XV compliments the menu at Fifteen well, be it olives and charcuterie or rich and spicy tomato sauces.
Its been a great experience for myself and the team to make this wine and I believe a unique exercise for so many people to have been involved in the making of an individual wine. You can try the wine exclusively at Fifteen Cornwall (while it lasts). We hope you like it.